The first design for our Urban Permaculture site

Sunshine Coast Permaculture Urban: the beginning

Sunshine Coast Permaculture Urban: the beginning

We have a space on our demonstration site which is currently used as teaching space, but which is to be our home in the future. This space has a small (fenced off) area around it, which makes it ideal to become an Urban Demonstration site. The building is ideally located, north facing and solar passively designed by Tom. I have drawn up a design for this Urban space, which needed to be part of the greater design for the property, but will also eventually be a fully self contained Urban Demonstration site. 

The design calls for some screening off in the existing area, because there are plans for a future dam there. Tom also wants to put a food forest at the back of the area, so these are accounted for. We would like to eventually move the compost toilet to a flatter area (for when we don’t like stairs so much anymore) and we want to build a cellar for food storage. I have included these future buildings and plans into the design as well.

The site, waiting to become an Urban Permaculture Demonstration Site
The site for the new Permaculture Urban project on the Sunshine Coast

The house (wall to wall) area is 72m2, the total land size we have to play with including the house site is just under 500m2. This seems to be pretty standard now for suburban house blocks. However, since there are more people living in flats, units and small urban housing, I have included areas in the design which will showcase Permaculture options for these circumstances as well. There will be a “balcony garden” and a “courtyard garden”. We will also create an example of a vertical garden, which will be up against the existing toilet/shower block.

This project will take time, because we would like to start everything from scratch as much as possible, to create a journey which people will be able to join us on. We are not in the position to buy in expensive new things, plus that does not fit in with the way we approach things in life. So we will try and use as many secondhand and recycled goods as possible, to make it an affordable journey as well, not just for us and those of you who wish to join us, but also for the planet.

The first design for our Urban Permaculture site
The first design for our Urban Permaculture site

As you can see on the design there are some existing bananas circles. We will leave them for now, but they will eventually be made smaller to fit in with the current design and dimensions. Keep in mind that this design is flexible and a guideline only. As I learn of new techniques and new ideas, I will attempt to implement them. In this design I have incorporated small animal systems as well, like aquaponics, guinea pigs, pigeons and small chickens (I like bantams, since they are lovely chooks and happy to sit on eggs as well as lay them!)

I am very excited to be undertaking this project, and I hope you will join us on this Urban Permaculture journey! I would like to invite everyone to share their knowledge and findings in their Urban Permaculture journey on this site, so that we can bring ideas to each other and we can create a sharing of Urban Permaculture knowledge for the benefit of everyone!

Articles for Sunshine Coast Permaculture Urban:

Making a simple worm farm

©2013 Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast – The beginning of an Urban Permaculture project on the Sunshine Coast, creating an Urban Permaculture Demonstration Site.


  1. Hi all, Iam from a little island in the bog of Allen Kildare Ireland .

    Could you give me some pointers to start me off, I worked in construction for 15 years, with the downturn I had to find something more solid.

    I found a 40 acre nursery on the bog of Allen : lullymore nurseries was set up by a state body as a shrub nursery 60 years ago, and failed..

    I can send some pics on your reply.

    Kind regards
    Paul Gahan

    1. Hi Paul,
      Have you done a PDC? To really get started in Permaculture I would highly recommend doing one if you haven’t yet done so. This will teach you how to put a Permaculture Design in place on your property, which is the ideal place to start. The best time to make a Permaculture Design for your property is when you have lived on the property for long enough to know where the winds come from, what water does on the property and where water sources are, and where the ideal location is for a dwelling.

      It is difficult to be able to guide you on what to do if we cannot see the property itself in real life. Tom does do consultations, but it may be difficult as you are in Ireland. If you would like to get further information about a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) or Tom’s consultations, please contact us by email at info (at) (replace (at) with @, no spaces. Otherwise we wish you the best of luck with your Permaculture endeavours!

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